Welcome Back! With the end of Bishop Boyea’s dispensation from Sunday Mass, we are so happy to be reunited as the St. John Parish family on Sundays! While the Church recognizes that individual instances of health concerns still exist and certainly are legitimate reasons for continuing to participate in the Sunday liturgy from home, having the vast majority of our parishioners (hopefully!) return at this point brings joy to me, our parish staff, and fellow parishioners who have already been attending in the past months.
And this weekend of May 22-23 is a twofold cause for celebration! The Solemnity of Pentecost couldn’t be a more fitting time to return, ready to receive the Body of Christ, ready to hear the powerful story of Pentecost, and ready to join together as the Church, the Body of Christ, empowered to continue His Work!
But we also acknowledge that we come to this weekend with some of us hurting from loss over the past year, from sickness, from uncertainty. We have need to receive comfort and peace from the Lord and support and fellowship with each other…to refresh and recharge! Let the Lord and our parish community be that for you. We have several plans in the works to help minister to those who are hurting in a particular way.
Yet even in the midst of pain, we come to this weekend with thanksgiving, too! We thank you, Lord, for the abundant ways you bless us even in the midst of suffering. Thank you, too, for our parishioners who so generously provided the financial support that kept our parish operating at full capacity. And thank you for our parish and school staffs who found new and creative ways to form and educate and minister to the people of God in this past year!
So let us give thanksgiving and praise together this Pentecost! We have made provisions for those who may not feel comfortable with the closer proximity of others in the church pews. Feel free to participate from the Parish Center (where seats remain socially distanced), our outdoor tent, or even your car. From these locations, you can utilize our livestream Mass (at 4:15, 8:00, 10:00 and noon) and our outdoor Communion line.
Join us for our Welcome Back celebration after all Masses! Bishop Boyea has sent a candle for each parish family and desires for us each to dedicate an octave of prayer for eight beautiful intentions. Our Knights will host an outdoor “pancake stand” with your choice of toppings, and the walkway between the rectory and church will be a gathering point to chat and catch up with friends.
Finally, I invite you to attend our evening Pentecost event, “Praise and Prayer.” A powerful night is planned with Fr. Brian leading us in prayer and reflection, calling on the Holy Spirit, and joined by the Fearless Ministries Praise & Worship band as well as our “Hope & Healing” Prayer Team who will offer prayer for those who desire it.
The Lord calls us, and he sends his Holy Spirit to heal and empower us. Join us for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit this Pentecost! Come, Holy Spirit!
Fr. Chas Canoy